December 31, 2010

A new year!

Just.. One... More... Day..

New Year's Eve is tomorrow and many awesome parties are going to take place.. As always, I have so many people I want to be meet or be with on New Year's Eve but you can't fit everyone in one house, an even fewer in an apartment.. But nonetheless I have high expectations and it's going to be a great party even though many of my best friends won't be there :(

I have already decided on several vows to make for new years, all of which are secrets that I won't reveal for anyone. What's a secret if it's made public? Nothing!

But with a new years comes new responsibilities.. Nah just kidding. There's a new anime season, a new cosplay season and many other fun things that are more relevant!

2011 Spring Anime Season!
While this season sports the mainstream harem/ecchi animes there are a couple that I'll no doubt watch. Some that are promising for once!

Kimi ni Todoke 2nd Season:
My favorite this season. If you havn't seen the first season, try it out. If it's not your taste, drop it but it's really well made and packs a lot of drama/story & some comedy. Though I do not quite understand how it's going to progress, that's good too as it's not predictable. I daresay ecchi won't be one of it's tags, which in general means it's focused on story as opposed to fanservice. Yay! Though I don't mind a happy ending where they actually at the very least kiss eachother. Those everyone-being-friends endings are a bit annoying in my opinion..

I'll definately watch it, no chance of dropping this one :P

Infinite Stratos
While it has the tags mecha and shounen, it still has some hope. Firstly, the artwork looks splendid. Let's hope the shounen tags doesn't go into the typical mainstream harem/slapstick comedy where the main character consistently makes the girl he likes hate him for the whole anime bar the last episode.

No anime with the mecha tag will beat Code Geass, but this one could sport something Code Geass could not, a lack of angst perhaps? Worth a shot anyway.

Kore wa Zombie Desuka?
Come on, the title sais it all. The story is revolving a lot around the necromancer topic which also makes for an interesting character. The necromancer. A cute necromancer that falls in love with the male lead? Yeah, probably something along those lines.. But we'll see.

While tags are bit uncertain, "shounen" is definately one of them, mahou shoujo is also clear. Rest is a bit uncertain. I just hope it isn't another harem/slapstick comedy which is way to popular for no aparent reason.

I'll watch the first few and see if it's anything worth the time. For all I know it could atleast be entertaining, but looks might be decieving..

The artwork slightly reminds me of Ef - A tale of Memories.. Hopefully it will be atleast as good though. No idea what tags/genre but the story will be about a girl on the picture. The male lead finds her, wounded and suddenly she turns into a necklace. Together they set out on a journey in a world where something called the "fractale system" is a force to be reckoned with.

Adventure? Shounen? Sounds a bit like Tsubasa to me but it's not made by Clamp. Still, it's worth a shot. Could always be surprised!

Dragon Crisis!
The male lead rescues a young damsel in distress who then turns out to be a dragon but in human form. They then travel across the world together on an epic journey. Sounds just like the last one to me, just switch the characteristics of the girls a little bit but oh well..

I guess I'll watch the first episode, I'll watch either this one or fractale probably.

Oniichan no Koto Nanka Zenzen Suki Janain Dakara ne!!
I guess the title kind of speaks for itself.. "brother, I don't like you at all", not exactl a perfect translation but that's basically what it sais. Another anime where the little sister has a brother-complex? Not unique this either. But as it's got the tag "comedy" it might be entertaining. Definately watching the first episode.

I suspect ecchi/slapstick being thrown in with the comedy which would lead to it being dropped really quickly.


Other wildcards:
CARDFIGHT!! Vanguard
Rio Rainbow Gate! (too much fanservice probably)
Hourou Musuko
Starry☆Sky (bishies as tag? reverse harem?)
Haiyoru! Nyaru-ani – Remember My Love

And some I definately won't watch:
Wolverine: I'm sorry, the ironman anime was not worth it. It feels like they just want more money from the concept.
Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magika: I just don't really enjoy the magical girl idea, and the artwork looks like it's aimed for a pretty young target group.
Mitsudomoe Zouryouchuu!: The first season (LITERALLY) included too much shit humour for my taste. Disgusting and most often not fun at all. The artwork was not very appealing either.

November 12, 2010

The best animes

My favorites!

It always comes down to this. Which anime to recommend? Which type of anime do I enjoy most? It is really difficult to recommend anime as it's so much based on opinion. I've watched around 3000 episodes of anime, over 150ish unique animes and out of all those there are but a few I really would recommend to anyone.

Firstly I'll just mention this first. For me to give a 10/10 it would have to be an incredible anime in all perspectives, so here's a few things I would give points for:

Overall it's a simple 10 point system, without almost perfectly filling all the following categories, a 9-10 is impossible.
Voiceacting/music/songs: 2-3 points
Artwork/graphics: 2-3 points
Plot: 2-3 points.

Remaining points would be what I feel about the anime. Do I feel like I have to see it to the end? Strong feelings are also important. Does it make me feel sad if it's supposed to be a sad seen? Only a few animes have ever made me almost cry over how sad it is. Does it make me feel happy when it's going well? Can I really immerse myself in the anime? It's all really hard to describe but this is one ofthe most important parts, probably 3-5 points here in general.

So which animes are my favorites? It varies. But some animes stand out among all others. Here are a few of my all-time favorites:

Ouran Highschool Host Club 10
Tsubasa Chronicles 9
Code Geass 10
Fullmetal Alchemist 10
Pokemon (until Johto) 8

Favorite shoujo:
Vampire Knight 10
Nana 9

Favorite Shounen:
Major 9
HunterXHunter 8
Naruto 8

All of these are personal opinions obviously. Some are based on nostalgia or being the inspiration to countless animes.


It's a pretty old anime and one of the first I ever watched. It aired 1999, that's 3 years before Naruto. To be that old it's incredibly cool and have inspired many animes. The power of "nen" that exists in HunterXHunter is exactly like chakra in Naruto. Nen can be used to protect yourself, a bit like a shield/forcefield that reduces damage you take from a hit. It can also be used to make a weapon or punch hit that much harder by focusing your "aura" there.

Overall, Nen being a really cool thing that opens up a lot of possibilities.There are also amazing characters. I just love Hisoka, a mass murderer who seeks to fight only the strongest. He is a joker who uses playing cards as weapons mostly and is a really funny character, yet also dark and scary.
Kurapica is also an incredibly cool character who uses chains reinforced with Nen to attack his opponents. As the last remaining Kuruta clan he is obsessed with revenge against the ones who wiped out his clan. Sasuke, anyone? He is incredibly powerful and does anything he can to gain power, at the cost of almost loosing his life. If he uses his powers against anyone who isn't his nemesis, he dies immediately.

Despite not including romance nor cutting edge artwork possible now 11 years after the release of the anime, I'd still recommend anyone who loves shounen to watch this anime. It's amazing, the OVA, Greed Island OVA and Greed Island Final OVA (all taking part after the anime) are the best parts of it.


The anime revolves around the card game/ game boy games where you are a young trainer who just started out. In this world trainers are people who catch monsters, pokemon, and trains them to be partners for life. Trainers sometimes fight with eachothers monsters or compete in contests but most of all, they love pokemon! But to the despair of the world.. The evil Team Rocket is trying to ruin it all, and catch all everyone's pokemon!

This is the first anime I ever saw. Pokemon then digimon but I didn't enjoy digimon as much so I'll ignore that for now! Pokemon is the root to a lot of anime too. There are so many animes where you have monsters as pets or have monsters fighting for you. It's a common theme. But what made pokemon so amazing? It was original. Ash Ketchum fighting for what he really liked and those weird monsters he ended up with were pretty cool.

Though after the pokemon league and maybe orange league.. It kind of went out of hand. Each and every time he fail the pokemon league he would throw away all his pokemons and pikachu which should be incredibly powerful after 1000 episodes worth of fighting, still looses to a trainer who just recieved their first pokemon, lvl 4. Really? Please. . . . ..

But it's still a good anime. I don't know if I'd recommend it to anyone. It's aimed at pretty young people. Pokemon will always be that nostalgic anime that started my anime interest and I'll always love it for that.

Ouran Highschool Host Club

The story revolves around the poor girl Haruhi Fujioka who somehow attends the famous and amazing school Ouran Highschool - well known for it's well performing students and high standards. But Haruhi can't even afford the school uniform, if it was damaged, she could never replace it. She wears an old shirt, vest and trousers and together with her unkept hair... Noone knows she's a girl. One day she enters the clubroom to a strange club.. A host club! It's a club that tries to fill every need of the higher class ladies in school. They are very rich, pretty and princesslike and needs charming princes to serve them coffee and talk to them on their breaks.

By accident, Haruhi crashed an item belonging to the club and is asked to pay up or join the club and work until she's no longer in dept. Tamaki and the twins Hikaru and Kaoru eventually finds out that she's a girl and all falls in love with her - an extremely funny and great plot follows.

Out of all animes that I've ever watched - after thousands of episodes and hundreds of animes - this is the one I'd always recommend to anyone. It's such an amazing anime. There's nothing in it that is bad. I can't find a flaw that could be improved. Beautiful characters and artwork, great voiceactors and awesome plot. It is the best comedy out there and includes enough romance to make it interesting to just about anyone.

Code Geass

The child and prince Lelouch Li Britannia gets to witness his mother being brutally murdered but his father did not care. He sent Lelouch and his sister Nunally to Japan to basically be political hostages.

But Lelouch is incredibly intelligent and hides his true name and starts to lead a new life, while tending to his sister who is blind. Suddenly he gets into a tight spot and meets up with the beautiful C2/shi-tsu/C.C. who boasts a power unmatched to anyone. It strengthens the wearer by giving powers reflecting the deepest desires in ones heart. C2 makes magical contract with Lelouch, thus saving him and seemingly herself. Lelouch now gets the mystical power of "Geass" that makes him able to command anyone to do anything, if he is able to get eye-contact with them.

Apart from being pretty tragic and angsty from time to time, this is one of the best animes I've ever watched. The artwork is made by clamp so it's safe to say.. beautiful characters and artwork everywhere. All the costumes people are wearing looks good and "realistic". The music is also pretty good and the voiceacting really great. One of the best animes ever made.

The only downside of this anime is that it is pretty dark. People die and not just the enemies. The story is also very deep with psychological questions being put forth frequently. Is Lelouch evil for wanting to bring down the horrible Britannian empire that invaded Japan? Is his "Geass" powers really safe to use? Are his friends trustworthy? A lot of things happen in the anime but it is amazing and definately has to be seen.

Anime season fall/winter 2010

There is not much happening on the cosplay front until june next year. It's so far away. So I got an interesting idea. Why don't I blog a little bit on ongoing animes which I usually end up checking out anyway.

Currently ongoing anime

Star Driver
Yosuga no Sora
Fortune Arterial
Amagami SS
Kami nomi zo shiru sekai/ The World God Only Knows
Sora no Otoshimono:
Otome Yokai Zakuro
Shinra! Ika Musume

These are the ongoing animes I've atleast seen 1-2 episodes of. The ones below the "-" are the ones I simply cannot watch.. They contain little interesting plot, ridiculous ammounts of fanservice or are not interesting, hence I won't comment those at all.
The 7 others really are great - in general there is only 2-3 animes I can stand watching, the rest are just fanservice filled nonsense. They might not be 10/10, but atleast 6-9/10.

Bakuman is an interesting lovestory about a boy who aspires to be a manga artist, he's in love with a girl whom probably loves him too but neither of them dare even talk to eachother. The main character and his best friend is desperately trying to make an amazing manga.. Somehow he ended up promising to marry his crush if he made a successful manga, and she agreed to it.

Shiki is the best horror anime I've ever watched, but seriously, don't watch it alone in a dark house at the dead of night. It's quite scary from time to time. The story is about a strange and deadly epidemic spreading in a small town deep in the mountains. Very well drawn and interesting plot. Definately give it a shot if you'd like to watch something somewhat original and a bit scary.

Yosuga no Sora is a love story, while not my favorite this season it's the one with the best art. It's very well drawn and has some really interesting parts and some really cliché parts. I can't really decide wheither to drop it or not. Something keeps me from dropping it, so it's atleast a 6/10 way above average yet not that amazing.

On a sidenote, if you plan to watch this I hope you don't mind ecchi.

Amagami SS: Suffers from being really annoying. It's made from a dating sim, meaning there are like 8 different girls that all (might come to) love the main character. Now they decided to make 8 different endings for it, each volume with 3-4 chapters per girl... So basically the story is screwed up. Other than that, it's a pretty cute story and has a lot of comedy in it. Some fanservice, some ecchi but on a moderately "alright" level, not way over the top.

Fortune Arterial: Apart from the cliché accident of the main character being tricked into a girls bathroom and getting beat up for it, it seems to be a really cool anime. A very interesting story about a shady student council ruling the school. The incredibly popular vice-president loves the main character.. Or would she love to eerm. "eat him"? Either way, it's beautiful and sports a lot of comedy so far. I bet the shady student council will be revealed later in the series, because there's a lot going on..

Probably one of the best this season. 8-9/10.

The World God Only Knows: A weird story of the gamer of all gamers who's cleared EVERY dating sim/ visual novel in the whole world. Someone from heaven definately must have been struck by lightning, because one man had to get the task of saving young girls by making them fall in love with that chosen one man.

The anime is really fun, though it is a bit repetitive and I have a hard time seeing how the story will progress with all the.. lets call it backtracking to not spoil anything.

Star Driver is a somewhat ridiculous mecha anime which is my current wild card. I'm watching it hoping that it'll be worth it after a while. I'm no fan of mecha and the plot is a bit poor but the artwork is alright and the main character is interesting, or I should say entertaining... 6/10, hoping for improvement later in the series.

As can be seen on the image, it looks a bit weird, not to mention childish. It seems like a shounen, mecha. But it does not have the same cool art as some other mecha animes. It does have the tag romance though I think, maybe it will turn out to be a good story somewhere in the shounen plot.

October 11, 2010

Two new things decided!

More plans! Finally more cosplay \o/

Firstly I've decided to attend the game convent "Gamex", another Swedish convent over in Kista near Stockholm. Pretty large and focused on gaming. Hopefully I'll be able to attend it in my Vincent cosplay and compete over the prices but most importantly I'll have a lot of fun and I'll be able to show off the costume again! ^^

While that is uncertain and yet to be decided by others than myself, I've decided upon my next cosplay. It's to be Nero from Devil May Cry 4. Here he is:

It's a pretty complex cosplay just like Vincent. A lot of clothing and details..

A list of things I've planned making for the costume:
- Blue/Black Denim trenchcoat with red lining, and roseshaped buttons I might have to cast. And a symbol for "The Order" on each shoulder. On top of all that there is a fastener for the sword (leather).
- Very customized red leather vest with tedious and many decorative seams.
- Brown leather boots with 3 belts per boot attached.
- Jeans
- A crazy demon arm, perhaps I'll make it lit up if I can.
- A huge sword, "Red Queen". Yay! Always wanted one xD
- A huge revolver, but I might skip it as he never wields it and the sword at the same time.
- A black muscle shirt
- Leather bracer for the left hand.
- 2 rings for the left hand
- A white wig? No thanks. Silver, it will look a lot better and appear as a white wig but with shading! win.
- 1 belt on each leg, for looks I guess.
- No holster.. So where do I but that gun? T_T

Seriously, this character is really badass. He is completely amazing and kicks the new DMC Dante's ass. He is a weak emo boy. But Nero isn't. He isn't your average main character who's weak in the start and gradually growing, instead he's an arrogant tsundere who steadily grows warmer and nicer as the game progresses. Sure, at the end of the game he'll be stronger than in the start but he doesn't start at 0.

Another thing I like with Nero is the incredilby characteristic appearance. He's not like "L" in deathnote or just about any main character in a school anime who is completely devoid of anything recognizable. Carrying a 4-5feet sword might make people think SquareEnix but that isn't a bad thing, the demon arm and the trenchcoat are also really cool. Even a person who don't know the series will think it's a pretty cool cosplay I hope!

I mean, how can a trenchcoat, a huge sword, leather boots and a really mean demon arm go wrong? It would be even more amazing if I could find a Dante, Lady and a Kyrie but as there aren't any around in Sweden that I know of.. I'll be the lonely wolf Nero often was.

August 16, 2010

Convent's over

The week's end

The convent is over and I'm going back to my daily... boring... gray... lonely life. That's how it feels when you get back from an incredibly lively convent anyway :(

It wasn't boring for a second, I met so many nice people and amazing cosplayers. In costume the heat was the only opponent, it felt like the competitors were all on the same side. I became nominated as a finalist along with 9 others, all with amazing costumes. There were a couple of really good costumes who did not make it to the finalists so I'm proud, even if I did not win anything. For my first ever costume, I was one of the 10 best at the whole convent, that's prize enough.

I also got to talk to a whole bunch of other cosplayers and all of the finalists, I learnt plenty, got new ideas and got to know many nice cosplayers. Hopefully we'll all meet again at the next con, with even better cosplays and have an even better time.

Hopefully there'll be something on Youtube soon so I can see the rest of the competitors and the sketches since I missed them because of being backstage half of the evening. But it's been an amazing weekend and I hope I live to see many more just like, or perhaps even better, than this one.

August 13, 2010

Convent day 1

So if yesterday was doomsday, surely today was judgement day. Photoshoot and interview with the jury. "All that's left" is the grand cosplay gala, walk-on, vote and checking the results! Surely this will be a breeze? It's all down-hill from here, some might say. But really, for me it's kind of scary walking up on that stage as I've never actually done it before. The unknown is scary stuff. While I'm reasonably pleased with my costume, there are countless things that I could have improved.. Many things to make more smooth and practical. Could I have done it better? Probably. But is this enough? I hope so?

Not only this mentally tough situation but there are also repairs to be done as today was a long day. Sweat, friction & heat are bad for costumes. The gun lost it's trigger & another part which I don't know the name of, basically the guard around the trigger. There's also a dent on one of the pieces of armor on the boots. But that can be sorted out, somehow. I've got all night ^_^

What is my goal anyway? It wasn't winning, when I started anyway. Now it feels like a really amazing... possibility? Is that the right choice of words? Is it possible? Nah, probably not. I saw some indredible costumes. A really cute Vanille, heard rumours of an "Iron Man" cosplay. Some really good cosplays from Naruto too, which I usually frown at normally. And I've just seen the tip of the iceberg. Many amazing cosplays are sure to be seen at the convent and some tough competition is to be expected. All the same, I've recieved so many compliments about my costume that I'm flying high right now!

August 11, 2010

Doomsday! :(

The last day before the convent is tomorrow. I'm completely stressed out, as usual. Nothing's completely finished. Everything could have been done slightly better. But with only one day left, it'll just have to be finished tomorrow ^_^

June 24, 2010

Another day passes :I

Time flies, the convent is drawing ever closer as I try to work as much as I should on perfecting the costume. But it's hard to motivate yourself to work when the weather outside is so perfect.

Tomorrow I'll most likely recieve the fabrics I've ordered and in a week I'll recieve a wig I ordered so I'll get working soon again!

June 16, 2010

Mokona \o/

"プー!我々は新しい世界に到着!" - mokona <3

So how do I make this? Well I don't know. Researching ^^

I've got some ideas and the material should be really fluffy and nice. The gem on it's head is also sorted, but as for the rest, well.. I'll manage somehow!

June 14, 2010

Cerberus step-by-step


I thought of describing a bit how I do it when I make a prop so here goes. I wont show every part individually as all are made in the few ways shown, either by sculpting (Cerberus heads), foam+plastic+gesso or from random things found at home.

Planning & sketching

Concept Art
The first thing I did was finding pictures of the item I wanted to replicate, preferably in as many angles as possible. I watched Advent Children movie but could not find good enough reference art there, then I checked Dirge of Cerberus but same problem. The angles are poor and the art in DOC has too low resolution.

Later I found a real replica of a Cerberus, made by SquareEnix, in all angles and wonderfully detailed. I have several more angles and close-ups of the very same gun. Here is the concept art (all credits to ShopAnimeDVD/Squeeeeeeeenix):

An important part of propmaking is using your imagination. How can I make this crazy shaped object? perhaps I can use half a flower pots backside glue to a curtain rod decoration adorned with the head from a can of a "Loctite Super ATTACK" super glue? Really, just think of cheap alternatives before buying that expensive item that could look well for your prop.

You have thousands of things at home, many which you won't use so just consider it. You probably have lots of DVD and CD cases and there's some cheap thin plastic right there. You probably have card board, newspaper, old shoeboxes, the cardboard case which you computer arrived in and there's any paper you might need for papier-mâché and so on. Thousands of materials are just lying around and other might be come by cheap if you think it through. Raw materials are sometimes cheaper. Sometimes it's the thrift store that have your materials. THINK. It can and will decrease the price of your props by a LOT.

When you have reference art for every corner of the item you have to plan your way to approach this problem. There are hundreds of curves, shapes and patterns you have to consider and which materials will be best for this. It's hard work and requires imagine without it's like anywhere else. You are about to create what, in general, doesn't exist. You don't have high-tech molds and 3d models available that you can just mold and cast from.

I recognized my two biggest problems to be the barrels width so I checked which dimensions of PVC pipes were available and adapted the proportions of the pattern to it. Next is the details on the pipes and the barrelholders above and below the unique tripple barrels.

I chose clay for making the wolves heads and for the long lines along the pipe.. I'm not sure yet, but I'll figure it out. Considered "3d paint".

When all materials are considered, make a proper blueprint from the side without perspective and one from above/below. I usually scale up a picture to the size I want and trace the main lines on the paper, with help from the light of a high contrasted image on my screen. Just lay the paper against the botton of the screen and carefully trace most of the important lines and finish the rest by hand. Really simple way to make sure it's proportional. I had to redesign the trigger and move it because I would not be able to get a finger in there if I didn't. Just an example of things you have to consider while making it. The blueprint is a guide how to do the REAL version, not how the fictional item is.

Back to the drawing board
Great, so you have a blueprint but it doesn't end here. You have to draw detailed blueprints of all parts separately. I drew blueprints for the trigger, handle, the hammers on the back and the revolver drums.
The other paper where the barrels continued is gone, and no traces of it to find anywhere but it's just for show anyway as I've already used it at the point of the photography.

Now it's just down to building it, the easiest part.. Right? Well it's always difficult to craft things without accidentally scratching or damaging any surface, but atleast this process is straightforward and made easier if you did your blueprints with care.

From pattern to parts

I always look at how things appear to be shaped. Any flat side will later be covered with thin plastic (like styrene or similar) but round shapes might sometimes have to be covered in gesso and sanded down to perfection though this takes a while. The fewer places where you have to sand the better! I basically made things easier by flattening some shapes.

When I was satisfied with the shapes I took the pattern and laid it out on top of the foam board to then trace along the lines of it, pretty hard so that the pattern will be marked on the foam through the paper as I sometimes don't cut the patterns out.

Cutting foam, not fingers
Firstly. As you can see on the picture above I used a hobby scalpel. It's really damn sharp and does cut foam if you force it but it squeals and begs you to stop. I'm one of those who have always whined on "WARNING!" notes and disclaimers yet I'll warn you only once or twice. Seriously, don't use a scalpel or a knife to cut a foam. Not only will the edges be rugged and uneven which makes your work several hours longer, using an incredibly sharp knife on small details and on hard plastic is pointless and more difficult than you have to make it. A hot knife will slice through the plastic like butter and leave it with a nice and smooth edge.

If you pick the scalpel because you can't be arsed to buy a new tool, don't be a tool like me and cut yourself while trying to cut thick plastics in tiiiiiiiny detailed shapes..

When you've gotten your HOT KNIFE use it to carefully cut out the pattern you traced on the foam. Note that it took atleast 4-5 times as long for me because of the horrid scalpel.

With a hot knife you'd have just followed the lines and cut all the way through in a swift move. Really. But I finished it even if it took a while. Just make sure you follow the lines and that step is pretty simple.

When it's cut out, compare it to your blueprint and make sure the shape is good, if not either glue foam on it and reshape it that way or start over on a new piece of foam and learn from your mistake - the material is cheap after all. Do not ruin the appearance of your prop because you did not compare carefully to your blueprint.

Reinforcing foam
Some prefer to paint right on sealed foam but foam have many issues, even if you seal it with glue. Sealing.. that's to say foam covered with something to make sure the edges are smoother and that the color won't melt the foam. I've used insulation foam here and it is easily damaged. If you poke it, it'll be damaged. So what you have to do is reinforcing it and I chose thin styrene sheets (0.3mm) and covered all pretty flat areas with it. When I say flat I really mean all areas that are flat in all ways but one. A styrene strip can be bend can be bent like a "(" if needed, though it can only be bent in one direction. You cannot make a bowl-shape with styrene if you understand what I mean. You could theoretically make a bowl if you heat it up a lot but the type of styrene I have is more likely to melt or be destroyed by heat as oposed to gently forming the way you want, like wonderflex would for example.

This is another piece, the guard around the trigger but the idea is the same. Press any flat side against the styrene and trace lines around it. As you can see all the sides around this piece are flat so all sides can be covered with styrene with relative ease. Just repeat the step until all sides have styrene pieces for them, numbering them carefully so you know where each piece fit and which side is up and down. I do this with numbers, I draw a number on both sides and know that the numbers should be pressed against eachother for it to be the right fit.

Continue making styrene for all flat sides until it's completely covered, this piece needs one more piece to be done. If there is a round part or some side you cannot cover effectively with styrene without ruining the appearance, leave it and cover it with gesso when all the styrene pieces are glued and have dried.

Smoothing uneven edges
I chose to work with a gesso-like substance this time and it worked out reasonably well. Easy to sand and pretty durable but remember that it's pretty fragile and breaks unless supported.

I covered all edges I wanted smoother and sanded it down a few times, 2-3 times is enough. First layer & sanding really rough and then 1-2 more more if needed to smooth it out further. Use really fine sandpaper, atleast 200 grit for the final sanding, preferably 400.

Misc - the drums
The hardest parts can be made easy if you really use your imagination. You'd imagine making three revolverdrums with perfect width, length, shape and material would be difficult, especially when wanting to add details like 8 bullets in each drum.

I was lucky and found PVC pipes of the correct thickness and with cool detailed rings on the side that were of the exact right width.

(one of those are glued upside down but I changed that after the photo) I put plastic over one end so I wouldn't have to worry about that, the other end which would be forward.. I really wanted 8 rounds in each drum and I wanted it visible and cool and so I really thought about it a bit. I gathered bits and pieces and found here and there to make those cool detailsThen I cut out foam bits that that would fit into the drums, stuffed 8 soft air gun bullets into holes I had made in the foam, and then put a piece of styrene over the bullets, with holes so round tips of the "bullets" would seemingly look out :D

And this is the result from that, which when painted will look like a pretty cool and detailed I hope! The three barrels were then made out of 22mm thick PVC pipes, not much to say regarding those really.

Misc - Sculpting
Now to the threeheaded dog of legends, bestowed upon the barrels of Vincents gun. What better way to show that the gun indeed is powerful? Great job by SquareEnix. Unfortunately this doesn't help at all, it is so damn hard trying to recreate what they make, but perhaps that's why it is so fun in the end!

I decided to first try with clay that you dry in the oven.. Well.. it didn't work so well. There were a bunch of problems but I finally decided to try with airdrying clay.. What a mistake. Imagine trying to recreate something incredibly difficult and add a short time limit. After ~10 minutes the clay is already so dry that it will break here and there.

I started off by making a "pattern" again, as I'm really poor at reconstructing things without visual guidance. I have awesome imagination but it forms better in words, rather than creating shapes I can't see in front of me I guess. Anyway, here's my drawing:

After that I proceeded to the process of making it in clay which well.. I suppose it went alright but the problems are not sorted yet. I have not decided how I'll do the wispy legs, smoke and tails on the cerberus heads.. Perhaps 3d paint? I'll come back to that later ^^

After tracing the pattern into the clay I started cutting out the pattern and then proceeded to reforming the body a bit.
These are the mean pair of Cerberus heads I have created so far but they really need those wisps around them to get the right feeling. I'll see to that soon, no worries! Though I really like those teeth, they came out better than I thought, the failure of their noses will be remade, so I think they'll turn out just fine.

Putting some things together
While some pieces works best glued together, some parts don't. For the ones that does, put them together! Enjoy your prop looking a bit more like it's supposed to, but don't glue things together just for the sake of it. If you glue everything together before painting, there's a chance that some areas won't be possible to be painted. Atleast spray the pieces black so any later unreachable area (which is usually in shadow) is not a highly visible color like pink or white.. This way noone will really notice that you were not able to paint that part.
This is the handle for the gun, with the bolt/screw and chain as details, and trigger & guard in place. It looks pretty alright to be fair. All the edges are smoothed too and I'm happy with the overall appearance so far, it looks like this will be a lot better than my last attempt. I've still got the sculpting to do so I'd better not jinx it just yet xD

Click on it for a bigger picture. These are all the pieces I've currently assembled, all that's left is the final head of the cerberus, the top one. Then they will get a lot of those wispy legs and tails that adorn the barrels. After that it's time to paint to finally end up with a proper finished prop!
Here are the raised designs on the barrelholders or whatever it is. I made them out of hotglue because of lack of time and money, else I'd have used 3d paint which is much more smooth and easier to apply like you want it. If you miss with hotglue.. Don't want to think about it.

Painting & finish:

Finished priming the first couple of pieces. All areas that are hard to paint once assembled anyway.. I don't white or pink areas visible that you can't actually reach with a brush.

Most of it was then painted black again to reinforce the paint and further add a somewhat uneven and "worn" look. For the parts that were supposed to be painted silver I used a technique called "drybrushing" which means you used a relatively hard short brush with only a little paint on it, then you brush off most of the paint on some spare paper or so, then you just roughly draw over all the pieces you want to look like they are made out of a silvery/metalish color. It will leave shades in the lower areas while painting the areas that stands out. I've found this is the best technique to make things appear like they are made out of metal. Just a flat silvery color can look good but in general it looks better with the worn look that "drybrushing" gives you.

The plate behind revolverdrums was painted gold and the handle was painted dark brown, it looks like grayish because of the horrible picture but it definately IS dark brown :P

The guard around the trigger and the trigger was lost during the convent and the one in the picture is actually just a placeholder which I made in the middle of night between day 2 and 3 at the con. It is slightly too big if you compare to what it looked like in earlier pictures on the unfinished Cerberus, but it still looks pretty good and I got MANY compliments about it.

June 9, 2010

Time flies!

Next convent, "Meuwcon", is drawing ever closer and I'll be trying to get to a tiny Game Expo too, with a cosplay competition. Chances of being able to go to Narcon.. well it's looking pretty bad right now, I've got a temporary job that weekend but I'll see if I can actually swap the dates with someone else. But who would want to swap with me? ..

On a better note! I've drafted patterns for the vest and pants for an everyday cosplay that actually isn't too hot to wear indoors/outdoors during the summer! Yay for light clothing during the summer! Really need to go to the local fabric supplier soon.

I've actually carefully drawn lines and accounted for seams and adjusted it a bit since but lots of needles and cheap fabric makes for the easiest patterns, even though it might look a bit bad right now. Working on a pattern for gloves, bootcovers, a plushie & a prop.

Note to self: the crotch area on pants are bit harder than I originally thought, I ended up copying that part from a pair of jeans I was wearing at the time. Easy but I felt like I was cheating. Though saving time is priceless!

June 1, 2010

Summer conventions!

Summer is finally here and a bunch of conventions and cosplay gatherings approaches! I really desperately need a cosplay more adapted for high temperatures.. Vincent is such an amazing cosplay but many layers of thick black leather has it's downsides too :P

Not to mention that transporting a whole bunch of fragile pieces of craft foam armor takes a lot of space. Not only that but it's also very taxing on myself to be in the costume an entire day, high-heeled leather boots and the heat generated by the costume exhausts you very quickly.

I've considered a few alternatives, Lelough in his Emperor robes for one. While not exactly light clothing it's very light in color which removes a lot of heat by sunlight, as opposed to Vincents dark costume. I've also considered Syaoran as an everyday cosplay, just a wig, vest and pants. Maybe adding a Mokona, goggles, the katana "Hien" and a cloak aswell if I'd want to enter a competition with it.

Meuwcon is the only con I've actually decided on so far, it's a reasonably large Swedish convent. I'll enter the cosplay competition with my Vincent cosplay if things goes as planned, the only thing I have left to do is a couple of repairs and sealing&painting the boots armor and finally attaching it to the actual boot. It's a few hours job but it really comes down to finding a tool I really need but have failed to find so far!

Apart from Meuwcon I might be paying Narcon a visit but it's far away and coincides with a temporary job I have planned to take. I might get off during the week-end but we'll see. I've heard so many good things about Narcon so I really would like to go!

Planned a couple of other cosplay related things this summer including a picnic and a small cosplay competition or two, both in Stockholm. It's yet to be decided but it would be a lot of fun!

Always so much fun to do in the summer, why can't it be more evenly spread over the whole year so you can actually do it all? :(

May 15, 2010


Started working a little bit on some basic Wonderflex/Craftfoam tutorial since I've recieved a lot of questions regarding it. Those materials are wonderful for creating things for cosplay, especially as they are a little bit elastic and a lot cheaper than buying sheet metal, not to mention easier to work with and simple to shape! Other than reinforcing it, attaching it to your cosplay and shaping it, I'll also go through painting, smoothing and creating a metal-like surface. But more on that note later.

I've also ordered a new wig for a cosplay I've started working with, we'll see how it turns out. I really need to learn to style wigs properly so that is why I ordered it. The type of wig is for now secret ^^

Less than a month to the summers first con, so things are getting tougher by the minute. I need to get hold of a couple of materials then start working again! This time around I really will enter the cosplay competition, it really looked like so much fun.

May 7, 2010

Possibly new plans?

Started on a brand new project today, which might or might not be my next cosplay. It's really to push my sewing skills to their limit and see if I can learn to sew properly! I was inspired by the Swedish "Meuwcon" who will have a cosplay gala and possibly a masquerade ball or similar. Why not try and make some clothes fitting a ball then?

Thought of a bunch of different characters I could attempt to make a costume for but so far I've not found the right one.. Maybe I'll just make my own original character, taking some of my own ideas and some of existing characters. I have made some quick sketches and come up with some interesting ideas. I want it to have a little bit of a royal feeling to it. I've thought about black velvet, lined with some soft smooth cheaper fabric on the inside of it. Then silver details perhaps, that would add a pretty exotic noble/royal feeling to it.

I sure wouldn't start to sew with expensive velvet and embroidery thread.. I'll start off by drawing concept art, drafting a pattern, and only then attempt to sew one out of a similar but cheap fabric! I mean, given enough time and tries, surely I'll be able to sew something well!

Time to keep thinking of ideas, and get rid of this flu...

May 5, 2010

Vincent: Vest/shirt

Vincent wears a leather shirt in advent children and a vest in Dirge of Cerberus. It's actually kind of hard to see as he's wearing his capelet and cloak the whole movie.. But it is there anyway. Exactly what it looks like... Well noone knows! You can see some parts of it but never a good shot of what his vest actually looks like, only small glimpses of it and usually so much motion blurr that you can't make out much details.

I did, however, find a picture of a Vincent model on the internet.

This picture is perhaps not the official Advent Children version but it's based on the changes Vincent went through from the game compared to the movie, and as I don't know what Vincents vest/shirt looks like I'll make something inbetween, following the hints from the movie but the guidelines from the model above.

There is a short collar, 5-6cm tall with a belt attached (visible in the movie). The two sides of the front is overlapping atleast ~10-15cm and attached with 4 belts (marked in orange below). While the arms looks like they are made in other material on the model above, it looks more like it's 2 sleeves attached to the vest in the Advent Children movie so I'll probably go with that.. But have not decided yet.

This is an idea of the design so far, made out of an old bedsheet I found lying around. It's supposed to be a tight fitting vest which goes further down than the waist (marked in purple), but stuffed into the pants carefully. There is a lot to adjust on it but I've gotten most of the meassurements and parts of the pattern now. The colored lines are for references of stuff I need to keep in mind, like the belts, how to attach, which part belongs where and so on. Such a mess, but atleast it shows the main points and problems. The front is split in to left (light blue) and right (red).

The collar (dark blue) is yet to be designed as attaching it is the catch.. I'll most likely have to make a test-piece and attach with rough basting so I can try it a few times before I do it properly. Same with the sleeves. I'll take careful meassurements on sleeves and collar.. Actually.. I'm thinking of cheating and not add a collar with belt as it's really annoying and noone will see it. But I might just do it.. Hard to say.

The good thing with making this vest compared to cheating and taking a thin black sweater is that leather is much more stiff and firm. I'll be able to properly attach the shoulder and make the cloak attachable with buttons (light green and dark green marks).. That's my plan anyway!

New useful material?

I have had some issues with craftfoam and gesso-like materials of different kinds. Mostly because gesso is not very flexible, so it doesn't go well with craft foam. It just snaps or breaks.. No good "putty" material is flexible, right? If it is like rubber you will not be able to sand it down which is the whole point of it, sanding it nice and smooth. But what about plastic? Plastics are somewhat flexible but still hard and possible to sand. I asked around a lot looking for plasti-sands and bondo of different kinds. At last I found a possible solution: Plastic Padding.

It seems like this is a good alternative and it is:
1: Sandable.
2: A bit flexible. Not as flexible as the craftfoam but it is more like plastic. A thiiiin layer of this might break but if you reinforce the craftfoam first so it doesn't bend so much it seems to be fine.

I have applied some Plastic Padding to the rough edges where the craft foam and the wonderflex created uneven edges. Once I sand it down it I hope it will be really nice and smooth!

May 4, 2010

Hot and cold :(

With the weather warmer than ever this year, I've caught a cold somehow. I'm feeling pretty bad and my mood is all down.

But this is not the time to feel down! It's summer, you have to enjoy life. Why not make the day better by listening to really good music? I feel so good when I listen to music, makes you feel happy and warm again :)

Currently these cute vocaloids have gotten stuck in my head.

Uninstall, hey? "Hatsune Miku" sings about how she is just one of many of her kind and just feels like dissapearing... Noone would notice. Noone would care. There are many others just like her. Why is she not appreciated for the time and effort she spends on becoming such a great Vocaloid? So frightened yet putting up a strong, seemingly emotionless, front.

I like the tune, and the chorus is great, I do realise, now, why Vocaloids became so popular. A while back I actually thought it was some anime or something. Not a program to create songs.

This is another fantastic piece of music. Medleys are often very nice but these have spent enormous time on... anime and game music. That's quite rare. It's not some random choir either, these are great and have spent so much effort getting it just right. When they sing the part from "Higurashi no Naku Koro ni" or why not "Agent yoru wo uku", "Makka ni chikai" or "Uninstall", it sounds like a choir of angels. Very well done by Nico Nico Douga, again, these parts are almost better than the originals :O

Another good song I found not that long ago. It just makes you want to run around the house and dance.. Feeling all down from the cold? Nah, take it easy and listen to some really good music instead ^^

Vincent: Boots designed! Sweet!

I just felt like doing some really good dessert and so I did, why not? ^^

This is my favorite, out of all desserts this is just sweeter but not too sweet. A wonderful.. kind of Vanilla cream but that explanation just doesn't do it justice. The only way to find out how it really is is making it yourself, or ofcourse, eating the ones I make :P

With Vincents boots being damn near impossible unless made in metal which would require a lot of practice, experience, money, time and tools.. I've managed to create some decent designs for the boots! I've modified the appearance to be able to attach the securely to the boot, and in the right places so it can move with the foot.

I started by putting on the boots so I could actually make proper molds that would fit my feet perfectly and make sure they move along with the joints in the foot.. Else it would just break or fall off from any little movement. They look pretty bad but that's just to get the shape right :P

Then I attached a layer of orange craft foam on top of it.. Some of those round shapes are really annoying but I attached the middle of it with superglue, then applied fabric glue to the sides that should adhere to the wonderflex and superglue at the edges for a quick fit so I wouldn't have to hold it for hours. I then heated it up and pulled it until it fit perfectly then pressed it down against the edges with superglue and poof it's done! I screwed up and made a dent in the craftfoam in one place. I'll just sort that out with some gesso or so.

Here is the first dry fitting. Note that the toe isn't angled that much upwards when you are wearing them. I'll most likely attach all the armor pieces on each boot with a leatherstrap and then with elastic bands attach it to the boot. Gluing it right on top of the boot is a BIG NO-NO. Don't ever do it! The boots and your armors flexibility is difference and when it is like that you need a kind of.. medium in between if you understand what I mean. I think I've got this sorted now anyway. Time to get back to work!